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To expect an ETA from midwife/HV?

160 replies

smileygrapefruit · 14/07/2017 11:38

Just got home with newborn dc3 yesterday.

Was just getting out the shower and there's a knock at the door...the midwife is here. Had to answer in a towel sopping wet.

I've now remembered from the last two times how they always turn up unannounced. Am I just ment to sit in twiddling my thumbs all day? DH has taken other two dc out for the day and I was going to have a nap with dc3 but how am I supposed to do that if they could turn up at any time?!

Aibu to think they could just text to say "expect us between 10-12"?

OP posts:
iamapixiebutnotaniceone · 15/07/2017 20:26

Even with my 4th I have enjoyed my midwife and HV visits Blush they have always been lovely, the last one she walked my 4yo to nursery with me as she came as I was leaving

jessebuni · 15/07/2017 20:58

I'm surprised with it being DC3 you're getting that many visits anyway. With DC1 I got HV visits at home about twice then had to take him to the surgery. DC2 I had a home birth the midwife didn't make it in time so my mum played catch the baby 😂 Anyway I had a visit from both the midwife and a doctor the next day to check DC2 was all fine and after that I got a visit from a HV after about 1 week. She was impressed by the weight gain of my little one and pretty much said "this is baby number two for you, you e got this so if you have any problems go to your closest drop in session". I certainly wouldn't be waiting around for them. I get that they have a list of people to visit and can't make an appointment but if you aren't available they can call you or revisit. I'd just go about your days as normal and if you are in the shower or napping don't answer the door.

RhodaBorrocks · 15/07/2017 21:00

My MWs were lovely. On my first visit I was in the shower when they arrived, but DM and XP were there. XP made tea whilst DM helped me get presentable quickly. I arrived to two jolly women on the sofa with tea and biscuits cuddling and cooing over DS.

Subsequent visits were similar - if DS was asleep they wouldn't weigh him and would leave quickly so I could get my head down for a bit. They gave me invaluable advice for DS jaundice, which kept him out of hospital, and encouraged me to start taking him out more as I got stronger (I had a massive PPH and refused the full blood transfusion before I left hospital as they did the first unit wrong and I ended up getting very little into me and a lot of blood wasted all over the bed and on the ward floor which no one seemed to care about).

I missed their visits afterwards as I had to go to the GP in town to see the HVs.

My DM was impressed because I had such a good experience compared with her - MW would turn up, demand a cup of tea, kick off her shoes and fall asleep in the armchair for an hour or two. One time my DF poked her because he thought she might have actually died Grin. My DParents had her for both me and DSis, but after the initial appt for DSis they made themselves 'unavailable' on the days she was due to visit - let her kip at someone else's house!

RhodaBorrocks · 15/07/2017 21:01

Hit post too soon! Op I don't think YABU to want a rough time. Its still nice to be able to plan your day!

MeltorPeltor · 15/07/2017 21:03

My used to make appointments and not turn up. It was really frustrating as I'd wait in for her, she phoned me once to apologise for not turning up yet hadn't even booked me in. There were countless other issues with her that culminated in my putting in an official complaint.

lozzylizzy · 15/07/2017 23:02

I had a home visit when I was pregnant with my third. I said I had to pick my son up from school so the visit would have to be finished by 2.50. She rocked up at 2.50 and was a bit sorry I can't leave him there he's 5!

ktp100 · 15/07/2017 23:22

I would have totally avoided mine if possible. I hate any forced interactions with people i don't know. As it turned out i actually did avoid the first visit as i had no idea they came the day after you got home so i went shopping. She rang me and got all shirty on the phone because i'd dared to leave my own home. I wish i had the balls to tell her i didn't want a visit but i worry they'd think i was hiding something. All this forced intrusion just gets my back up. 4 years on and now i'm getting miffed about the pre school starters health questionnaire instead. Bloody nanny state rubbish.

aurynne · 16/07/2017 00:40

In the era of computers there is absolutely no excuse not to have an automatic text sent to the next woman when the previous appointment has been completed. A work phone with a tracker, programmed with the daily/weekly/monthly visits and the midwife simply pressing a button when her visit is finished is all that is needed. There really is no excuse.

monstiebags · 19/07/2017 17:52

This is a free service
If it's inconvenient for you, inform the NHS that you will do without thus saving money and avoiding inconveniencing you
No wonder the NHS is on its knees

TheFirstMrsDV · 19/07/2017 18:02

This is a free service
No it isn't

No wonder the NHS is on its knees
the NHS is 'on its knees' because some women would appreciate a vague ETA so they can ensure they are in and ready for a MW to visit?
Are you absolutely sure that is why the NHS is experiencing difficulties?,
Nothing to do with chronic lack of investment, wasteful practices (y'know like cold calling people with no way of knowing if they are home), an ageing population, soaring land costs and the deliberate running down of the welfare state?

Rarotonga · 19/07/2017 18:07

YANBU. The midwife arrived in the middle of my home appointment with a lactation consultant, which was costing me £75 p/h. It would have been useful to know if she was coming in the morning or afternoon as I could have scheduled my other appointment accordingly, and not had to pay for the duration of the midwife appointment too!
I am a health professional and understand how under pressure midwives are, so I just sucked it up.

alltouchedout · 19/07/2017 18:11

If it's inconvenient for you, inform the NHS that you will do without thus saving money
Firstly, doing that is a quick way to ensure services assume you have something to hide and that you will then be hounded accordingly.
Secondly, that's not how nhs spending works. Me declining an appointment does not free up a certain amount of money to be spend on something else.

Heatherjayne1972 · 19/07/2017 18:27

In my area they don't come to you at all
You are expected to go to them.
Everyday for 10 days. Doesn't matter if you have other children/ no partner/stitches/or are post c-section
They don't come out for anyone at all

DandyJacket · 20/07/2017 09:54


Getting to know a woman and seeing her all the way through her pregnancy and then at home with her beautiful baby is imo an utter joy. To hear that a lot of people view me as an inconvenience is quite sad really. I don't care if you're in your pjs, I don't care if you haven't had a shower or if your house is a mess or you have visitors.

What about the mother? What if I care whether I'm in my pjs, have had a shower, or have visitors when you come round? What if I care that I've recently had my entire naked body on display to strangers and had my private parts repeatedly examined and prodded? What if I'm trying to regain some sense of privacy, dignity and comfort in my own home after going through one of the most physically exposed, exhausting, and emotionally profound moments of my life? What if I just want a bit of space to enjoy those most amazing first few hours at home marveling that I have a tiny new person in my family? What if I feel forced to have you there in my own home asking me questions, hours after giving birth, when I really don't want it?
My midwife forced a visit on me that I'd declined (relative answered the door) let herself into my bedroom uninvited and argued with me when I objected. It triggered long since dealt with past abuse and left me with PTSD (diagnosed and medicated) while trying to care for my beautiful newborn. My first year with my baby was utterly miserable as a result, and neither me nor my baby nor my husband will ever get that time back. But the midwife actually complained to me that I'd made her feel unwelcome and hurt her feelings.
I'm glad you find it a privilege and a joy to do your work. And I'm sure lots of women have valued your support. I'm sure you've saved lives. But sometimes spare a thought for the fact that it isn't all about you. Postpartum Mums can be very vulnerable, even if they don't look it, and sometimes your actions can have a massive impact on the women you attend. Whether that impact is negative or positive will likely depend on whether you are focused more on your patient's needs and priorities, or your own.

guiltynetter · 20/07/2017 10:17

I cannot believe all the posts on here, so so many ungrateful people! You should be thankful that you have a midwife who will come to your home and visit you. If she doesn't give a time, and you need to go out, that's fine, just let them know another day/time to come? what's the big deal?

when i had my first DD 2 years ago i looked forward to the MW coming to check on her, to check she was doing okay. my mind is boggling here.

zzzzz · 20/07/2017 11:28

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

smileygrapefruit · 20/07/2017 12:37

Fgs I'm not ungrateful. Asking for an ETA is not unreasonable. Not having a clue when they are coming and therefore being out when they come would be a waste of nhs resources!!! Anyway, I knew they were coming on Tuesday (between 8 and 5...ok I'll just not take the other kids to nursery, walk the dogs, have a shower or pop to the shop!) So I rang first thing to ask for an ETA and was told between 10 and 12...fab, I made sure I was home during that time and no one had their time wasted.

OP posts:
Boredwithmyname · 20/07/2017 12:45

The ones I had were perfectly nice but I wasn't able to stay in the whole time waiting so didn't see them much. I guess many new mothers who are in all day are extremely grateful to see them, but it does seem very inefficient to just turn up on without warning as they did.

RidingMyBike · 20/07/2017 14:05

TBH the two midwives I put in complaints about were worse than useless. One didn't bother to check we were ok on day four and just made assumptions during her visit, hence being admitted to SCBU the following day.

Her visit was a total waste of NHS resources.

DandyJacket · 20/07/2017 14:19

Never understood why people think you should be grateful for something you don't actually want. You enjoyed the visits guilty, good for you. Not everyone is the same. Not all midwives are great.

ten years later I still cry if I think about it too much. Exactly. I've spoken to a lot of women about their birth experiences. And so many mums remember being deeply hurt for a long time by intrusive/unkind care during or after giving birth. It touches you in a way that it wouldn't in most other situations.

TheCuriousOwl · 20/07/2017 22:51

The only time I've ever not given an ETA is when I don't have a number for the woman or on very rare occasions, when I literally don't have time to call all the women before I leave as I've been held up so long in the hospital. I can't text the women (long story, but I can't) But I do call and I do leave voicemails for anyone I don't speak to.

As I say if I don't call it's the difference between me seeing one more person and that woman not getting seen that day.

One thing I am actually wondering now though is how many people actually think 'I really don't want postnatal visits at all' and who have had problems picked up and sorted out despite not wanting the visit in the first place? And if that changes their opinion?

My experience is that normally we are welcomed with open arms and I'm always touched by the hospitality and generosity of our clients (so much chocolate and more than once have I been given cake). But I will be more aware in future that some of these visits aren't welcome or wanted and try and make them less painful and more non-intrusive.

snapple21 · 20/07/2017 23:32

Another community midwife here.

I would really struggle to give an ETA. I'm a mum as well. I can understand it may be difficult for some mothers to wait in all day.
But we do give the option of a postnatal clinic appointment and most don't want that.

Some days I have ten visits. It's hurrendous.
An example here if we did try to give an eta of the situations that can arise.

I drive for thirty minutes from the hospital and arrive at my first visit. The baby is very jaundiced and feeding poorly. I spend an hour giving breast feeding support. I have to take a blood sample from baby to check jaundice levels and return it to the hospital immediately after the visit. That's a thirty minute drive back. Then I drive back another twenty minutes to near where I was for my second visit. As I'm leaving there I get a call from the hospital saying the lady I was going to visit last is in tears and struggling with breast feeding, can I visit any sooner? Yes of course I can.

If we are texting 'etas'
What happens to the lady I text saying I would visit between 10-12? That's never going to happen and surely she would be more annoyed to then be moved and plans change etc.

We just can't win.


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TheFirstMrsDV · 21/07/2017 07:31

We just can't win

Why do professionals always post this when their service users express dissatisfaction with any aspect of a service?
It is simplistic, defeatist and untrue. Its also designed to guilt people into shutting the FU.

Not all service users are selfish and entitled and I am pretty sure you don't believe they are.
In the same way that no one believes that all CMW are insensitive and intrusive and are deliberately late Hmm

Do you think the CMW is as it should be? Do you think there is no room for improvement? Are you happy with your level of funding, training and staffing?

If you are not, why do you expect your service users to be?

Do you really believe that its gold standard to tell women 'I am coming round, you have to wait in and I could turn up at 8am but might not get to you until 6pm'?

I would be surprised it you did.

AngeloftheSouth84 · 21/07/2017 07:35

We just can't win.
Imagine if everybody had this attitude at work. The country would grind to a halt. Professionals should stop whinging amd get on with their job - that's what professionals do. Instead of just moaning.

Bumdishcloths · 21/07/2017 07:39

Customer service is hard. Customer service in the medical profession is nigh on impossible. Please don't berate someone for explaining the impossibilities of their job, that's really not very fair.

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